Whitmarsh on the future of F1

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
Strong words from Whitmarsh.Much of what he says I agree with.Not so sure about Bernie and CVC.
But one thing for sure is that the winter months during which they will negoiate the new Concord agreement will be intersting.Note his reference to Bernies advancing years.

"Formula 1 must wake up to the poor job it has done in marketing itself in the last few years and make a concerted push as soon as it can to expand its popularity worldwide.

That is the view of McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh, who thinks imminent discussions to frame a future direction for F1 with the Concorde Agreement are a great opportunity for the sport to make amends for what it has got wrong recently.

The current Concorde Agreement finishes in 2012, and talks are being pencilled in for after this season to try and make progress in agreeing a framework document that will come into place from 2013.

But while the main focus of those discussions will be on sorting out financial arrangements - with teams demanding a greater share of the sport's income from Bernie Ecclestone and shareholders CVC - Whitmarsh thinks there are other issues that are just as important."

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/86453
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
A bit of a veiled threat to Bernie?

"I think to now rewrite that is possible and, if you cannot get agreement, you have to look at all your options. Arguably the teams do not need the FIA, and the FIA does not need the teams. Arguably the teams do not need the current commercial rights holder, and the commercial rights holder does not need the current teams.

"We can all go our own ways. The FIA can have its FIA championship; there can be a GP1 with CVC, and F1 can go off and do Grand Prix racing; and the teams are big enough and ugly enough to do that as well. But to do all that would be counter productive – we should try and find a way of working together."
The problem with this is FOTA threatened it once before not so long ago and backed down so I doubt Bernie or CVC will be concerned.

The bit about the teams not needing the FIA is interesting though.
 

tooncheese

Hans Heyer
Contributor
More threats and word wars, no industrial action will ever be taken now days because the sponsors would refuse to pay up after getting no race coverage. Sponsors missing pay would scare any team, so it is very unlikley to happen.
 

MajorDanby

Motorsports' answer to Eric the Eel
Contributor
Very strong words there from Whitmarsh.

If we are talking about the 3 separate entities, the FIA, FOTA and CVC, then out of them all, ultimately the teams will surely have the most negotiating power?

If the teams were to breakaway the top 5 teams, with the best drivers, the best cars and the best sponsors, would take the viewing figures with them. CVC and co will be screwed.
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
I have given this some considerable thought.MD has got it about right.But although FOTA did threaten this action before, and after the FIA agreed with their demands ie no two tier regulations and Mosely out they went ahead and submitted their unconditional entries as normal.
But in this period when they were investigating the possibilities of forming their breakaway series they unearthed a great deal of information.Tracks that would willingly allow them to race on them.Local TV companies that would be happy to to offer TV coverage and sell it via sattelite to the entire world.Logistics companies for instance DHL TNT and so on who would and could take care of the entire logistics.As far as I am aware GB is the only country in the world whose national TV company BBC are funded by licence fees.In other countries most if not all TV companies are purely commercial operations.At present FOM have the exclusive right to all TV coverage and sell that to to local TV companies via their world feed.
They have no need of a governing body such as the FIA.American series Indycar, Nascar etc police themselves through their own governing bodies and the tracks provide all of the neccessary medical backup. marshals, stewards etc and function extremely well.
I would not be suprised in the least if FOTA do not have some small working group working on this possible scenario.
It seems odd that Whitmarsh would propose this as an alternative without some confidence that it is possible.
 

Jru

Points Scorer
Contributor
Those are some interesting points you raise sportsman about how much FOTA must know about the feasibility of a break away - although even if it weren't possible I doubt that they would let any one know! MD is right that FOTA have the strongest position, given that they have the greatest brand recognition through team names and drivers. Their strength could be the reason that they are confident of a larger slice of F1 income, I just hope that this doesnt drive up the costs of each grand prix for the circuits.

Am I correct in saying that the circuits are contracted to FOM? If so could we see further long term deals to prevent a FOTA led breakaway being possible? Could it go to the lengths of FOM organising to pay other circuits in a contract to stop FOTA being able to hold a break away championship?! :dunno:
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
Yes, indeed the circuits are contracted to FOM so obviously Silverstone would be out.Regarding FOM contracting other circuits I don't honestly know the answer to that one. Maybe its possible.But at present the tracks pay FOM.And Bernie would have a heart attack at actually paying tracks. LOL But in the UK alone, there would be Donington, Mallory Park, Thruxton, Cadwell Park, Snetterton which is all I can think of off the top of my head.In Europe there are many tracks as well.
Undoubtedly there would be legal challenges from the FIA and FOM to overcome.But as the FIA is such an old organisation many of its powers would not stand up to current EU legislation.
It would not be easy for FOTA if they did go this route.But this time they would have both time and some previous knowledge on their side.
This of course could just be Whitmarsh taking a leaf out of Bernies negotiating tactics bok.But I think that FOTA could do this if thats what they decided to do.
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
sportsman said:
But in the UK alone, there would be, Thruxton,
I live just down the road and used to work there and can safely say it would take a shit load of investment to get my beloved Thruxton up to F1 standards and we all saw what happened to Donnington.

I think the most salient part of Whitmarsh's statement is the "looking forward" to a time when Bernie is no longer involved - you have to accept that BE will be 87 when the 2018 season kicks off.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Speshal said:
I think the most salient part of Whitmarsh's statement is the "looking forward" to a time when Bernie is no longer involved - you have to accept that BE will be 86 when the 2018 season kicks off.
It could be a case of "better the devil you know" though :thinking:
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
Brogan said:
Speshal said:
I think the most salient part of Whitmarsh's statement is the "looking forward" to a time when Bernie is no longer involved - you have to accept that BE will be 87 when the 2018 season kicks off.
It could be a case of "better the devil you know" though :thinking:
Personally I think once Bernie has gone (wishful thinking I know - he'll be like the Duracell bunny - on and on and on.)

The powers that BE (pun intended) CVC/FOM would actually start approaching it like a business and not the bloated fiefdom it has transformed into under a certain person's stewardship and I think that point that Martin Whitmarsh is trying to get across? Look to the future, maximise profits and exposure for the teams and the investors.
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
Speshal said:
sportsman said:
But in the UK alone, there would be, Thruxton,
I live just down the road and used to work there and can safely say it would take a shit load of investment to get my beloved Thruxton up to F1 standards and we all saw what happened to Donnington.

I think the most salient part of Whitmarsh's statement is the "looking forward" to a time when Bernie is no longer involved - you have to accept that BE will be 87 when the 2018 season kicks off.
True enough.But these races would not be under FIA jurisdition and therefore FIA track regulations would not apply.
FIA F1 regulations only apply to circuits which wish to run a FIA F1 championship race.
The FIA set the track regulations for F1.As a matter of interest they could not actually use F1 or Formula One in the name of the series.Those names belong to the FIA or FOA.
Facilities for sponsors VIP's the press etc could be a whole series of FOTA owned motor homes, we have all seen the palaces that are erected by Ferrari, McLaren and others and they could be shifted around to the various tracks.
Its possible.
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
F1 must promote itself.

I thought that this subject could provide some interesting discussion.This coming hard on the heels of Whitmarsh saying much the same.
I found the comments regarding the internet very revealing.He seems to be saying that Bernie should ease off his stranglehold and allow more interaction with the fans via the internet.
If you register with this site. http://www.indycar.com/ you get live streaming, live timing, interactive on board camera's of all the drivers for free.
I realise that Bernie would have a heart attack at this prospect but I feel that FOM could do much more than at present.

"Formula 1 must be bold and make a big push to promote itself better - something which includes embracing the Internet and getting drivers closer to the fans - if it is to boost revenues and take its success to a higher level in the next few years.

That is the view of Renault F1 chairman Gerard Lopez, who agrees with recent suggestions from McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh that the sport had 'badly managed' itself in promoting itself to a wider audience."

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/86835
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
F1 does provide live timing but that's about it.

Hopefully once Bernie disappears, FOM will have a rethink about how it engages with the fans and will try to do more.

I'm not expecting much though as F1 these days very much seems to be about the sponsors first with the fans being treat as a minor annoyance.


P.S. I merged this with the other thread sportsman as they're essentially the same topic.
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
Brogan said:
F1 does provide live timing but that's about it.

Hopefully once Bernie disappears, FOM will have a rethink about how it engages with the fans and will try to do more.

I'm not expecting much though as F1 these days very much seems to be about the sponsors first with the fans being treat as a minor annoyance.


P.S. I merged this with the other thread sportsman as they're essentially the same topic.
Thanks Bro.I had forgotten the other thread :thankyou:
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
Its a fair point.But its all about money.How much revenue do we as fans actually spend on F1.I race a year maybe.
This forum for instance.We are all dedicated fans but does this put any money into F1.Unpleasant truths but apart from helping provide the TV revenue (I have to pay for TV coverage via cable) thats about it.
Yes, I agree that we as fans get very little consideration.But still the TV figures are high, Bernie makes his money and doesn't give a damn.
 

MajorDanby

Motorsports' answer to Eric the Eel
Contributor
The fans may not actually give a lot to F1 as a whole, but without the world wide viewing figures, there would be no cause for sponsors to become involved, and therefore no may. Its all a big circle.
 
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